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Chocolate Cupcakes for Four
Chocolate Cupcakes for Four Erin McDowell

Baking that batch of 24 cupcakes seemed like a good idea at the time. But having all those leftovers taunting you until they’re gone? Not. Worth. It. That’s why we developed this recipe, which makes exactly enough batter for four cupcakes. We mix all the ingredients in one bowl, so there’s minimal cleanup, and then decorate with our favorite fluffy frosting. This way, you and the fam can have your cupcakes, eat them and get on with your lives.

RELATED: The Right Way to Eat a Cupcake

Makes 4 cupcakes
Start to Finish: 50 minutes



½ cup all-purpose flour

⅓ cup sugar

¼ cup cocoa powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

Pinch of salt

4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted

¼ cup whole milk

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 egg

To Finish

⅓ recipe Fluffy Frosting

Chocolate sprinkles, for garnish (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the 4 corner cavities of a muffin pan with cupcake liners (leave the rest empty).

2. In a large bowl, sift the flour with the sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt to combine.

3. Add the melted butter, milk, vanilla extract and egg to the flour mixture, then whisk to combine.

4. Transfer the batter to a liquid measuring cup or pitcher, then carefully pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling the lined cups until they’re nearly full. (See Finishing Touches below for more info.)

5. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

6. While the cupcakes are baking, make the frosting. Pour the sprinkles into a small bowl.

7. Frost each cupcake with 2 to 3 tablespoons of frosting. Smooth the frosting evenly over the top of the cupcake, then dip the frosted surface into the bowl of sprinkles, rotating the cupcake to cover the frosting completely. Serve with a tall glass of milk!

Finishing Touches

It's the details that count! Try these tips

  • The volume of cupcake pans varies, but this recipe makes enough batter to fill four cups of a standard muffin pan almost to the top of the cupcake liner. Take care not to overfill; a slightly underfilled cupcake will still bake nicely. Just check for doneness 1 to 2 minutes sooner.

  • Did you know there’s a right way to eat a cupcake? Watch our video to see how it’s done.

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